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Tuesday 22 August 2017

O'Connell reaches 100 mark in style

Talismanic captain Paul O'Connell will become only the fourth player to reach 100 Test caps for Ireland against Wales in tomorrow's Six Nations clash.

The evergreen Munster lock will also equal Mick Galwey's record as Ireland's oldest captain of all time at the Millennium Stadium - both men leading Ireland at the precise age of 35 years and 145 days.

O'Connell has spent 13 years notching that three-figure Ireland Test total, scoring a try on his debut in a 54-10 victory over Wales in Dublin in February 2002.

Ireland's engine-room enforcer boasts a 62 per cent win ratio in national colours, winning 61 of his 99 Tests to date, losing 36 and drawing two.

From 92 starts and seven substitute appearances, O'Connell also has six Test tries for Ireland to his name.

Ireland's most-capped second row will join Brian O'Driscoll (133), Ronan O'Gara (128) and John Hayes (105) as his country's centurions when he steps onto the turf in Cardiff this weekend.

O'Connell will also rack up his 50th Six Nations appearance in Cardiff to boot, on a day leaden with milestones for Ireland's single-minded second row.

In his 49 championship appearances to date, O'Connell has won 33, lost 15 and drawn once, creating a 68 per cent winning record.

O'Connell was integral to Ireland's first Grand Slam triumph since 1948 in 2009, before leading Joe Schmidt's men to the 2014 title.

O'Connell has been involved in four Triple Crown wins to date - with that number rising to five should Ireland complete the clean sweep Grand Slam this year.

CENTURION

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